Up the Creek - S2e3, a general feeling of discomfort

But first, an interlude...


I started doing Dawson's Creek recaps as part of my job when I worked at the StarNews, a newspaper in Wilmington, N.C. I watched the first season for the first time to coincide with its 15th anniversary, which the paper cared about because it was filmed in Wilmington. I kind of hated the show but I LOVED the project because I got to be sarcastic and use MS Paint (aka I got to utilize my strongest skills). When I finished season 1 I rolled right on to season 2, but then my bosses were like, "LOL no, this takes too much time and now you need to go write real news."

Never mind that I was writing real news the entire time? It's fine? I work somewhere else now? I'M NOT BITTER AT ALL.

I was very bitter at the time, though, so instead of continuing the project on my own I just pouted and then reported real news and then finally got a different job. (Ha-HA!) But now I have my own blog and I am resurrecting the Dawson's recaps. Lord help us all.

Nothing will change format-wise, except that I will now be allowed to swear (before I had to say "and no one had any cares to give," but y'all knew I meant "any fucks," and now I am just going to say "any fucks," and it's going to be amazing), I am not putting "creek" in "quotation marks" anymore and I'm not going to explain why I am doing recaps at the beginning of each recap.

But if you were wondering, I am doing them BECAUSE I WANT TO, STARNEWS! However, that doesn't mean I like Dawson's Creek. I had to buy the season 2 DVDs - someone borrowed them from my local library and then never returned them, and the StarNews refused to lend me their copy BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY DID - and I only had to pay one penny for them (thanks Amazon), and I am still annoyed about it because it means, somewhere, in some universe, Joey Potter wins.

I was able to import all the old posts here (shout-out to Paul!), so if you're feeling lost or want a deeper understanding of why Joey sucks or whatever, you can peruse from the beginning.

New posts go up on Fridays. Welcome back to the creek. Here we go.


Season 2, episode 3 (real title: "Alternative Lifestyles," which, I can't) opens with THE DEATH OF THE LADDER!!!!!

I was excited at first because I thought maybe one of the adult Leerys noticed all the bugs in their house and realized the infestation was coming from the perpetually open windows/lack of screens in Dawson's room, but nope, it's just that Mr. Leery is real concerned about Dawson and Joey going to the bone zone.

Dawson accuses him of being in denial that "the little boy you brought into  the world is now a sexual being." In the last episode, Mr. Leery literally yelled "No glove, no love" at Dawson and Mrs. Leery showed Joey a pornographic massage book, so I kind of think they get it, but Dawson disagrees, and demonstrates it by saying "sexual being" no less than 54 times in this scene. Glad to see my desire to punch him in the face remains intact.

Dawson's air-tight argument is that removing the ladder isn't going to keep him from being deflowered, so Mr. Leery should just let him and Joey hang out in his room unsupervised. Mr. Leery says no way, probably because he knows that Dawson has instruments of Spielberg torture in that room and their homeowners' insurance isn't going to cover Joey's untimely death. This conversation turns out to be all for naught, though, because Joey was in the closet THE WHOLE TIME!

I can't help but feel like that big silver hook pointed right at her face is foreshadowing.

She comes out and they make out for a minute, which activates Mr. Leery's sex-dar and brings him running back to the room. Dawson gets grounded, and Joey is forced to leave the house through the front door like a normal human. Small victories, people.

The next morning at Joey's everyone is running around freaking the hell out. The enormous baby has lost his shoe,

and the health department is coming tomorrow to inspect the restaurant, and Joey's sister needs Joey to help clean because apparently they never clean the restaurant, ever. Look, I have covered the health beat before, and I can tell you for certain that restaurant inspectors don't give you a heads-up that they're coming, and that Bessie's instructions to "wipe down the counters so it looks clean" and "clean behind the fridge, we haven't done that in forever" are not actually going to help with your sanitation rating. Should you ever find yourself in Capeside, I recommend steering clear of the Icehouse, what with their lax cleaning policies and their propensity for hiring people who have not filled out the proper paperwork.

The Leerys discuss Mr. Leery's weird idea to have an open marriage as a way to get over the fact that Mrs. Leery was banging co-anchor Bob. Mrs. Leery is not into it

but says she'll do it if it will help Mr. Leery "sow his oats." #relationshipgoals

At school, Abby asks Jen which of these two guys she'd rather sleep with.

Jen says neither because they are both disgusting gym rats, I guess because that one guy is wearing a tank top and has a towel around his neck. Abby says that's the point. "They're completely disgusting. It's almost erotic." I would be more disturbed by that, but to be honest, I spent most of this scene trying to understand Abby's pants.

They're like the bastard child of skinny jeans and Juicy velour sweatpants. I'm equal parts amazed and horrified.

Abby says she can't believe she's friends with someone who only has eyes for Dawson Leery. I was really starting to relate to Abby, but then she told Jen to just "make it happen" with Dawson, so the moment was short-lived and, I think, mostly about her pants.

Inside the school, Andie is frantic because she left her backpack in her locker yesterday so couldn't take any notes in econ and now she needs Pacey's notes. Why couldn't she have gone to her locker to get her backpack? This is pretty clearly their first class, so why did she go to her locker and leave it there beforehand? Who knows?

She looks like she's about to have a stroke, and it's only going to get worse, because Pacey doesn't have econ notes, on account of he's Pacey. He tells her to calm the fuck down because he is having a "really mellow morning" and would just like to "keep a low pro," and along those lines, advises her to just "say pass" if she gets called on in econ. Andie is Not Having It.

She says it's a slippery slope - you get behind ONE DAY in class and then you are ALWAYS struggling to catch up and next thing you know you are OUT ON THE STREETS!  Pacey's like, "You're rich, Andie. People like you don't end up on the street, you end up in Florida."

I mean, have you ever been to Florida, though? The threat of Florida is pretty good motivation to not flunk out of school. (Ugh, my hair just grew three sizes at the very mention of Florida.) 

Sure enough, when they get into class, their econ teacher calls on Andie and asks her to explain the difference between macroeconomics and microeconomics. She can't do it, even though you can totally fake that answer if you know the difference between micro (small scale) and macro (large scale). BOOM, just dropped some econ knowledge on y'all.

This kid ends up answering the question.

It's MOTHERFUCKING JIMMY FROM MOTHERFUCKING ONE TREE HILL WHO SHOT UP THE MOTHERFUCKING SCHOOL! DAMMIT, JIMMY. This is just scientific proof that being around Dawson Leery and his cronies pushes people over the edge. At the beginning here, Jimmy's pretty happy. He loves econ! The teacher starts pairing people up for a project where they'll act as husbands and wives and draft a budget for their fictional household. Jimmy is super into it! Until Abby draws his name and is nauseated at the very thought of pretending to be his wife.

She asks if she can switch partners. The teacher says no. Jen laughs at all of this. Y'ALL HAVE THE BLOOD OF TREE HILL ON YOUR HANDS.

Andie gets paired with Pacey, because of course she does. In their lower-middle-class family, she's a sales associate, he's a bus driver and they've got three kids.

Dawson gets paired with Jen, because of course he does. In their rich-as-hell family, she's an engineer, he's a stockbroker, and they've got two kids and a beach house.

Joey, for some reason, is left without a partner, even though there are at least four other students in class who didn't get paired up with anyone.

Better to sit this one out than get paired up with ol' JP, I guess. The teacher tells her she'll be a successful, career-driven single mother raising two kids on her own. At lunch, Joey tells Dawson that this entire project is only going to depress her because she has no idea what she wants to do with her future. She says Dawson can't possibly understand how she feels because he has already mapped out his totally realistic life plan of moving to Hollywood and becoming a rich and famous director.

He says he thinks the project will be fun, and Joey asks if that's because he is super excited to be paired with Jen. On cue, Jen walks in. She sees them together. She is sad. 

She sits down with Abby, who starts off seeming disgusted about all the pining for Dawson, but then she tells Jen to “grab Dawson by the dipstick and make me proud.” She also uses the phrases “jerkin' his gherkin” and “humping his mattress,” and neither of them vomit, so I guess Jen really does like Dawson and Abby is actually very supportive of their relationship. She tells Jen it's time to break out Bad-Ass Jen From The City (Who Got Sent To Capeside For Running Around With Boys) to woo Dawson away from Joey. Jen says she doesn't want to jump the gun, and Abby says she should jump the gun. "His gun, and I want all the gory details." Blaaaaaaahhhhwiatjhaiyhahy.

During this mature and high-brow conversation, Jimmy comes over to talk to Abby about their project. She is heinously rude to him.

Maybe he will also bring a gun to this high school. Maybe that is how he wound up in Tree Hill in the first place! Jimmy is the most interesting part of this entire episode. (Probably a good time to mention that Jimmy's Capeside name is Kenny, but he's just JIMMY and also those names are so similar that all it does it lend credence to my theory that he's the same person, driven to violence on a second teen show because of stupid Abby on this one.)

Jack's mopping the restaurant kitchen and Joey is real mad because he is mopping incorrectly.

“I know I've made a few blunders, but I’m not a screw-up,” he says. “And also, you didn’t even ask about my previous restaurant experience before you hired me, so whose fault is this, really?”

Joey’s sister comes in and Joey complains about her econ assignment. Her sister offers to help, since she’s basically a single career mom. Joey's all, "No thanks, you're not successful enough, but it's a good idea, I'll find someone else!" 

Her sister's all:

It's not your fault, Bessie. You can't pick your family.

Mr. Leery is washing his boat when Mrs. Leery gets home from work. I thought it was co-anchor Bob dropping her off, but it's some guy Frank from accounting. Mrs. Leery's skirt is microscopic and she is carrying a drug-dealer briefcase as she goes over and kisses Frank from accounting right on the lips! 

And then she gets confused why Mr. Leery is upset. I mean. Why is this confusing. You cheated on him with a coworker. You just pecked another coworker right in front of him. I'm just spit-balling here.

Mr. Leery says he knows that she isn't boning Frank but he really just thinks having an open marriage would help him feel less jealous. "If we can cheat on each other, I can trust you!" He proposes a standing Thursday date night, but with other people. Ladies and gentlemen, I  present to you Dawson Leery's role models.

My feelings exactly.

Jen and Dawson are working on their married budget for their project. While trying to figure out how much to save for their kids' college, Jen says that their kids will obviously go to Ivy League schools. OBVIOUSLY!

They're getting along really well and she says, "In 20 years, this really could be us." Instead of saying nah or bringing up his girlfriend, Dawson starts a conversation about his and Jen's future travel plans. They agree not to take their kids, because it's way more romantic if they go alone. 

"We agree on every aspect of married life," Jen gushes. "We couldn't be more compatible." (I can totally vouch for this. My husband and I spend all of our time deciding whether to take our fictional kids on our hypothetical vacations. It's the bedrock of our relationship.)

Throughout this speech, Jen gets reeeeeally close to Dawson's face until she's leaning on his shoulder, talking about how it feels like nothing's changed between them. She gives him the lovey eyes

and he gets super uncomfortable and gets up to leave. Jen says, "My door's always open...if you know what I mean."

He does. We all do. She means her vagina.

Pacey and Andie are apartment-hunting as part of their project and have decided to physically go see apartments even though that seems simultaneously pointless and like overkill. Apparently, this is all they've done, and the assignment is due tomorrow, and they have not even written anything down. Pacey says this is a problem, which seems kind of logical, but Andie replies by telling him he's lazy and a slacker. Which of course - of course - leads to a monologue about how Pacey is the black sheep of his family!

He says it makes it harder for him to stay motivated because he could "bring home the Nobel Peace Prize" or learn the lyrics to every single one of Doug's favorite show-tunes and it would not matter one bit. Andie is all, "BRUH I DIDN'T KNOW," which I guess means she hurt her head or something because they have had this exact conversation two other times, including last week at Pacey's SuperSoaker birthday bash.

Whatevs. Pacey is super tortured, y'all, and he's also hella pissed because Andie only finds this project interesting because she is super rich and has never had to budget or worry about money. After he tells her that, she starts crying and storms off, presumably to count her piles of money so she can tell him she has worried about it at least once.

Joey's eyeing some tiny houses! What are those, houses for ants?!

She's here to talk to a woman that her econ teacher called "the living embodiment of the successful career woman," this lady Laura who teaches art and does interior design. She inexplicably asks Joey, who has no experience in anything other than making sourpuss faces, to critique a set of floor plans for a Mexican restaurant. Joey points out that the bar and the kitchen are on separate ends of the restaurant. Super-successful Laura is totally bowled over and asks to pick Joey's brain about other designs. Everything is terrible.

Abby can’t believe that Jen’s been pretend-married to Dawson for a week and they haven’t gotten busy yet. Jimmy, who’s just hanging out behind them doing Abby’s homework, pipes in to tell Abby that he thinks Joey’s hot. Abby barks at him and Jimmy points out that she hasn’t been doing any of the work for their project and he is totally fed up with her shit. “I’m not like you. I have a very demanding social life,” Abby says. Jimmy goes back to his own table, probably to continue plotting his school shooting.

Abby tells Jen she’s a sex kitten and should use it to her advantage with Dawson. "Wear something scandalous. Spray perfume in all the right places. Big, red, moist lips." I'm uncomfortable. Jen is not. "You're right!" she says. "I might as well put the final nail in my coffin of shame!" (This is a direct quote.) Then Abby references Dawson’s tighty-whities. The second-hand embarrassment for this whole situation knows no bounds.

Mrs. Leery is back in satin and lighting candles! But it's Thursday, so Mr. Leery has open-marriage plans with some swinging singles. The dinner she made him appears to be a veggie plate from the grocery store and an enormous crock of salad, so who can really blame him?

Jen comes over to work on the econ project and finds Dawson and Joey making out. Jen is wearing a slip and NOT moist red lipstick, so she's really sending mixed signals here. 

"Where do you want to do this?” Dawson says.

"Somewhere we can be comfortable," Jen replies. "Let's go to your bedroom." 

Dawson makes this face.

If I were Joey I’d be kind of upset that he’s not telling Jen where she can shove it, but thankfully, I’m not Joey.

Joey goes to work to find the restaurant a hot mess. She tells Bessie that she told Laura all the details about her family's financial problems, and then is shocked when Bessie is not thrilled with the ensuing free advice. Turns out the health inspector called (not a thing) and the inspection is tomorrow morning, and Bessie could have used Joey's help to earlier (even though they presumably cleaned two days ago when the health inspector first told them he was coming) (which is still not a thing). Joey, taking a page from Abby's playbook, says she cannot be bothered to do work because she actually HAS a life. 

Bessie's all, "Sorry for cramping your style, ho-bag, just go home. Jack and I have it covered." Jack, who does not even know how to mop a floor, gives her this look

so probably they’re totally screwed.

Pacey pops into the restaurant for a cup of coffee and talks to Jack about how Andie is super rich and spoiled. Jack's like, "Bro, I don't know how to mop, I am not exactly working here for funsies." Apparently their family used to be well-off but they're not anymore. Turns out Pacey's entire basis for thinking Andie is rich is that she drives a Saab. Whoops.

Mrs. Leery spends her hot date night hanging out in a coffee shop by herself while elderly people, presumably drinking decaf, have fun around her.

Mr. Leery spends his thirsty Thursday wandering around a bar that proudly advertises its stock of Natty Light. He awkwardly smiles at women who walk by him. He orders a beer. It's probably Natty Light. Whiny rock music plays while they both realize their lives suck.

Dawson and Jen finish their project. Jen's boobs are hanging out all over the place as she offers to give Dawson a massage to relieve some of his tension, which probably exists in the first place because she's being so desperate.

He rejects the massage, so she flops back down on his bed and says that she is so exhausted she can't even make it back next door, and does he mind if she crashes here? 

He minds.

Jen says, "What, we can't hang out together anymore?" Dawson says they can totally hang out, they just can't sleep together. Jen haughtily informs him that THAT IS NOT EVEN WHAT SHE MEANT and it is super obvious that Joey is putting ideas in his head. 

"No she's not," Dawson says. "I'm not oblivious."

(Okay what? Since when? Did anyone see this coming? Could someone have warned me? I am completely unprepared for a self-aware Dawson Leery.)

He points out that she's dressed in undergarments and has been making suggestive comments and finding ways to touch him all night. She replies by saying, "Dawson, if you can't even handle being in the same room as me..." It's getting really date-rapey in here, which I resent for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it means I have to side with Dawson. JEN. LOOK AT YOUR LIFE. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES.

Jen says that she accepts that he’s with Joey, but she doesn’t respect it, and she wants to let him know that he's got options. "And I’m one of them.” Then she kisses him. He's not into it, but he lets it go on for an uncomfortable length of time.

Jen strides purposefully out the door but then turns to say, “I hope you can handle it, Dawson.” Thankfully, she has the good sense to look mortified once she gets out of his sight. I'd like to think it's because she's realized she's going to all this trouble for freakin' DAWSON LEERY, but probably it's not.

The Leerys lie to each other about their date nights. For this occasion, Mrs. Leery has traded her satin outfit for another satin outfit.

Joey and her sister make up. Joey says that doing her econ project really made her understand how much Bessie has to deal with and how much stress she’s under, I guess because she went to an interior design firm and was asked her opinion on the layout of a Mexican restaurant. Seems legit!

In econ class when everyone's handing in their reports, Jimmy raises his hand and tells the teacher that Abby's name is only on their report because she threatened him. She spent the entire week insulting him, he says, and did not do any work at all on the project. The teacher does not give one single fuck.

He just says that he hopes they allocated money in their budget for marriage counseling. This teacher was the last chance to stop the massacre and he did not do it. A pox on all of you!

Andie is about to turn in an incomplete report, but then Pacey busts in and hands the teacher a whole impressive-looking binder. Later, she thanks Pacey for finishing the project. He apologizes because now that he knows that she is totally poor he feels bad for not working harder from the beginning, or something. They're joking and walking and it's cute, but then the camera pans out to the rear-view mirror of a red convertible AND GUESS WHO IS THERE SCOPING THINGS OUT?!  M-Fing TAMARA, THAT'S WHO. She makes this face, 

so either she is happy for him or she wants a threesome with him and Andie. I'm not sure. Could go either way. I guess we'll find out next week.